Single Idea 16114

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 1. Powers]

Full Idea

When Aristotle uses the word 'dunamis' in the active sense, we might prefer the translation 'power', 'ability', or 'capacity' to 'potentiality'. He uses the same word to indicate both active power and passive responsiveness.

Gist of Idea

Active 'dunamis' is best translated as 'power' or 'ability' (rather than 'potentiality')


report of Aristotle (Metaphysics [c.324 BCE], Theta) by Mary Louise Gill - Aristotle on Substance Ch.6

Book Reference

Gill,Mary Louise: 'Aristotle on Substance: Paradox of Unity' [Princeton 1989], p.173

A Reaction

This gives licence to a direct link between Aristotle's account of potential and modern ascriptions of powers in scientific essentialism.

Related Idea

Idea 16113 Potentiality is a principle of change, in another thing, or as another thing [Aristotle]